I just had to include a cheesecake dessert in my 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies. I know they aren't cookies but they could pass as a bar cookie. Right? Either way, if you love cheesecake as much as I do, you really have to make these for your dessert/cookie tray this year. Cheesecake is really easy to make and the results are always so impressive. These are super easy because you make them in a 9 x 13 pan instead of a Springform pan. (see instructions below for making a traditional cheesecake in a springform pan)
These cheesecake bars were for my husband's Thanksgiving work party. I had to cut the bars at home and quickly take some pictures before he carted them off to work. There were only a few left, so my thoughtful husband brought 2 home for me to try. And I'm so glad he did! They are soooooo good. Creamy pumpkin cheesecake with a gingersnap and pecan crust. And the swirls are so pretty.
Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake Bars
Recipe by Kraft Foods
25 NABISCO Ginger Snaps, finely crushed (about 1-1/2 cups)
1/2 cup finely chopped PLANTERS Pecans
1/4 cup butter, melted
4 pkg. (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup sugar, divided
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
Dash ground cloves
Preheat oven to 325°F
Mix crumbs, nuts and butter; press onto bottom of 13x9-inch pan.
Beat cream cheese, 3/4 cup sugar and vanilla with mixer until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each just until blended. Remove 1-1/2 cups batter. Stir remaining sugar (1/4 cup), pumpkin and spices into remaining batter.
Spoon half the pumpkin batter into crust; top with spoonfuls of half the plain batter. Repeat layers; swirl with knife.
Bake 45 min. or until center is almost set. Cool completely. Refrigerate 4 hours.
Make it Easy: Line pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides. Use foil handles to lift chilled cheesecake from pan before cutting to serve.
How to Prepare Cheesecake in Springform Pan: To bake cheesecake in 9-inch springform pan instead, prepare as directed increasing the bake time to 55 min. to 1 hour 5 min or until center is almost set.
Cheesecake Tip: To help avoid cracks in your cheesecake, place Springform pan in a baking pan. Add boiling water to baking pan about 1 inch in depth. Make sure to wrap bottom and sides of Cheesecake pan with tin foil to prevent water from seeping into pan. The water surrounds the cheesecake with gentle even heat, reducing the chance of a cracked top.
Photo courtesy of Cuisine at Home
I love the swirl effect.
Mom's Cooking Club Lesson: Gift/Packaging Idea - Make these Cheesecake Bars in a nice 9 x 13 pan, like these personalized, engraved pans from The Cake Pan Lady. Give pumpkin bars and pan to your mom, sister, grandmother, aunt, friend, hostess of party or anyone on your gift list. If putting out on your dessert table or office party, cut in bars and place on a nice holiday platter or silver tray. Watch them disappear!